3 Big Things Today, January 25, 2021

Corn Slightly Lower Overnight; Ethanol Production Rises to Highest in a Month.

1. Corn Futures Lower on South American Rainfall

Corn futures were lower in overnight trading amid sustained rainfall in parts of South America.

Rainfall is expected in parts of northern and western Argentina this week, and stress “remains limited” in parts of the country, Commodity Weather Group said in a report.

“Expansive rains” forecast this week in parts of southern Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay likely will help corn, soybean, and rice production, the forecaster said.

Showers are expected to favor northern and western Argentina late in the week, and the 11- to 15-day outlook is showing a wet pattern that may limit dry spots, CWG said.

Soybean futures were up overnight and losses in grains are being limited on signs of demand for U.S. agricultural supplies.

Exporters reported sales of 136,000 metric tons of soybeans and 123,000 tons of sorghum, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a report on Friday.

On Thursday, the USDA said exporters sold 136,000 metric tons of beans to China and 163,290 tons to Mexico, all for delivery in the 2020-2021 marketing year. Exporters also sold 138,000 metric tons of hard-red winter wheat to Nigeria and 336,500 metric tons of corn to an unnamed country, the agency said.

Corn for March delivery fell 1¾¢ to $4.98¾ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade.

Soybean futures rose 3¢ to $13.14¾ a bushel. Soymeal rose $2 to $432.60 a short ton, and soy oil added 0.06¢ to 42.33¢ a pound.

Wheat futures for March delivery rose 3¾¢ to $6.38¼ a bushel, while Kansas City futures gained 2½¢ to $6.15¾ a bushel.

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2. Ethanol Production Rises to Highest Level in Almost a Month

Ethanol output in the U.S. rose to the highest level in a month in the seven days that ended on January 15, while stockpiles were down slightly week-to-week, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Production of the biofuel increased to an average of 945,000 barrels a day last week, the EIA said in a report.

The total is up from the 941,000 barrels a day, on average, produced the previous week and the most since the week that ended on December 18.

In the Midwest, by far the largest producing region, output came in at 902,000 barrels a day, on average, the agency said.

That’s up from 895,000 barrels a day the previous week and also the most in about a month.

East Coast production was unchanged at 12,000 barrels a day and Rocky Mountain output was on par with the previous week at an average of 9,000 barrels a day.

West Coast output declined to 9,000 barrels a day from 10,000 the previous week, and Gulf Coast production dropped to an average of 12,000 barrels a day from 15,000, the agency said.

Stockpiles, meanwhile, fell to 23.628 million barrels in the week that ended on January 15. That’s down from 23.692 million barrels a week earlier, the EIA said in its report.

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3. Winter Storm Expected to Bring Several Inches of Snow to Midwest

Much of the Corn Belt is bracing for a large winter storm that is expected to leave several inches of snow in some areas, according to the National Weather Service.

A winter storm warning issued for the region begins at 2 p.m. today and lasts through 6 a.m. tomorrow.

In much of Iowa, heavy snow is expected with up to 10 inches possible, the NWS said in a report early this morning.

Winds are forecast as high as 35 mph.

“Blowing snow will significantly reduce visibility and cause moderate drifting,” the NWS said. “Near-blizzard, whiteout conditions are possible. Hazardous conditions will significantly impact the Monday evening commute.”

In northern Illinois, moderate to heavy snow is expected with accumulations of up to 8 inches of snow, the agency said.

Winds are forecast to gust from 35 to 40 mph.

The winter storm warning in the area will start this afternoon and last through early Tuesday evening, the NWS said.

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